Document (#35519)

Author
Dousa, T.M.
Title
Whither pragmatism in knowledge organization? : Classical pragmatism vs. neopragmatism as KO metatheories
Source
Paradigms and conceptual systems in knowledge organization: Proceedings of the Eleventh International ISKO Conference, 23-26 February 2010 Rome, Italy. Edited by Claudio Gnoli and Fulvio Mazzocchi
Imprint
Würzburg : Ergon Verlag
Year
2010
Pages
S.78-84
Series
Advances in knowledge organization; vol.12
Abstract
Pragmatism has often been invoked as a fruitful metatheoretical perspective for knowledge organization (KO). Historically, the form of Pragmatism serving as a philosophical resource for KO has been classical pragmatism (CP). More recently, some KO researchers have begun appealing to another form of pragmatism known as neopragmatism (NP) as the metatheoretical basis of their work. This paper examines two key philosophical differences between CP and NP and inquires whether these differences are sufficient to make a practical difference for KO metatheory. Analysis of past applications of CP and NP principles to theories of classification design and to questions of research methodology within KO indicates that, to date, the metatheoretical consequences of CP and NP have been, for the most part, virtually indistinguishable: with respect to those issues, at least, the philosophical differences between CP and NP are not substantive enough to make a difference. With regards to the problem of how to organize KO as an interdisciplinary field, however, the philosophical resources of CP may offer a more integrative metatheoretical vision than those of NP.

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